Almost a third of UK car owners said they would buy electric as their next car, according to a survey by LeaseLoco, the UK’s largest car leasing comparison website.
LeaseLoco polled more than 2,000 car owners and asked them about their next car purchase – 31% said they would consider switching to electric in the next 2-3 years.
This shows that demand for pure electric cars is there. And if we extrapolate – of the 35,168,259 registered car owners in the UK*, that could mean almost 11 million are ready to switch to electric.
According to SMMT figures*, there are just over 750,000 low, ultra low and zero emissions cars on UK roads. Of these, less than 100,000 are pure electric cars.
The low number of electric cars currently on UK roads compared to the latent demand for zero emissions motoring, shows the challenge facing the Government and car manufacturers to meet this demand, but also the opportunity.
The problem is that many car owners still have major concerns that might prevent them switching to electric in the next few years even though the desire to do so is there.
Survey respondents said they would only consider switching if there were more attractive incentives to buy electric, a greater range of cars and more affordable models, and the nationwide charging infrastructure was improved.
Almost half of respondents (46%) said more attractive incentives would help make their decision to switch, while 33% said improving the charging infrastructure would give them the confidence to buy an electric car.
LeaseLoco polled motorists across different age groups and locations on their car buying plans and whether they would buy electric.
There was little difference in attitudes between older and younger car owners towards electric car ownership – 30% of car owners aged 18-34 would consider buying electric for their next car, compared to 33% of 45-54 year olds.
Across the regions there was more disparity – almost half (46%) of respondents living in Greater London would consider buying electric for their next car, compared to just 15% in Wales.
Almost half (48%) of car owners living in Bristol would consider buying electric next, compared to just 17% of registered car owners in Cardiff.
John Wilmot, CEO of LeaseLoco, comments: “Our survey shows that demand for electric cars is soaring and that the UK public are ready to make the leap to electric en masse. If the chief concerns around price and charging infrastructure were alleviated, take-up could be much more rapid than many expect.
“The Government needs to take advantage of the growing popularity of zero emissions motoring, but the worry is that without more focus, investment and education, this latent demand will not translate into sales and momentum will be lost.
“With the sale of new diesel and petrol cars banned from 2030, the next two to three years will be critical in ensuring that the switch to greener motoring stays on track.”